“The only thing I know is that I know nothing.” These words are a wonderful reminder that we are always learning and that we should always be striving to learn. The same principle should be applied to the way you run your business because there are always going to be areas you can improve on and things you can do a little differently; it is just matter of knowing this and being proactive off the back of it.
It could be you want to increase your profits, reduce the amount of losses you face, improve your bid win ratio, grow your customer base, expand into other markets, boost your exposure in the local area or any number of things.
The first step is to know exactly what your goal is and what you want your business to become. That way you will have something to work towards, a destination on which to focus your time, money and energy.
The good news is, improving your business is not as hard as the swirling doubts in your head may have you believe. So, without further ado, we bring to you, the best ways every business can improve on an operational front.
Get Out Of Bed On The Right Side
You may have seen the video of a Navy Seal Admiral talking about how important it is to make your bed first thing in the morning as it sets you up to be productive for the rest of the day.
Well, this can also work in the way you do business. Start your day by jotting down all your thoughts, ideas plans, and what you hope to achieve with your day.
If you don’t function well in the morning, then do this the night before, using that day as your basis for what you do with tomorrow and how you can improve.
The most effective way to do this is to use any hard facts you can, whether it be data, numbers, Google analytics or even your website statistics.
Once you have all the information you need, then you can go through your ideas and thoughts with your team, setting them up for a productive day too.
Blow The Dust Off Your Business Plan
When you first took the leap of faith into entrepreneurship, you no doubt created a business plan with more detail than the Mona Lisa. Well, it is time you pulled your business plan out of whatever drawer you left it in and start reviewing it with your undivided attention.
Don’t just look at it and reminisce with a smile; look at it and see how much has changed since the days you wrote it, address how the market has changed and what is different in your product line.
Once you have made a note of all the variables and changes, update your plan and make a mental note to look back over it at least once a month.
Update your plan with the economic changes, the new market conditions, how your goals have changed, what is different with your competitors and what it will take to expand, just like you always dreamed of.
Make Organization A Key Aspect Of Your Business
Whether you are looking for just the one or you want to embrace 5 strategies to improve organizational effectiveness, you will find the results of improved organization do wonders for your business. In fact, we urge you to push organization up the pecking order because with it will come increased productivity, improved customer relations, fewer risks and, best of all, a revenue rise that is worth writing to your shareholders about.
Yes, you’re right, the organization does start with managing the chaos that litters your office space and your employee’s desks, but it goes way deeper than that too. You see, all too many business leaders believe organization to be an aesthetics thing, but it isn’t; it is all about improving the function of what you do.
Once you have reached this realization, you will find that being better organized becomes a state of mind and one that allows people to focus on their goals, tasks, roles, and responsibilities a lot more. Yes, the process may require a pretty severe overhaul, but that is an essential hurdle to leap because, once you have done the hard work, staying on top of things becomes a whole lot easier.
Stay In Your Customers Frontal Lobes
The secret to your success up to this point – and all the subsequent success you will ever experience – is because of your customers. That is why you need to make sure they are a pivotal part of your progress and growth, which is easier to do than you may think.
In essence, all you need to do is tap into the database you have built up over the years and then start reaching out to your customers, letting them know that you are thinking of them and so they should be thinking of you.
People like to know they are being thought about. It could be a phone call once a month, an email, a letter, a Tweet or even a rook landing on their windowsill with a scroll attached to its foot; contact your customers, remind them of the service-slash-product you gave them and let them know you want nothing more than to surpass their wants and needs again.
It could be that you just contact your customers to ask them for feedback on your product-slash-services, which is a great way to give them a voice and boost your business operations.
In fact, if you want to increase the amount of repeat business you get, then you need to make customer feedback a core part of your customer service strategy.
Don’t get us wrong; growth and expansion come from the acquisition of new customers, which requires advertising efforts, but by offering a quality product, a great product and a customer service that outshines them all is the best way to build a solid foundation of loyal customers – and that will see you grow organically.
Perfect The Dark Art Of Pricing
Surprisingly, a lot of businesses struggle to master the art of pricing. Most businesses go the wrong and shoot themselves in the foot, desperate to take the market by being the cheapest. If this is you then we have a news flash that you really need to listen to: you will never be the cheapest.
Of course, you won’t. We live in a day and age dominated by the Internet, which means your customers will always be able to find someone that is cheaper than you. Always. So, instead of cutting your profits all the way to ground zero, adopt a strategy that sees you become good value.
People know that cheap doesn’t mean good. They know that cheap probably means they will have to buy your product four times over in order to get any kind of longevity.
Instead, what you want to do is make your product or service the best value for money. Just make sure you don’t go too far the other way and price yourself out of the market.
A great way to make sure you don’t do this is to keep an eye on what your main competitors are doing and what prices they are offering them for. If you are worried that you have underpriced yourself but are worried you will lose customers if you suddenly raise your prices, then give all your customers at least a two-month advance warning.